Skilling-up Medical Laboratory Technologists for Higher Roles in Biomedical Sciences: A needs analysis
Context and Setting: Educational system for medical laboratory technologists in Uganda produced many technologists with diploma who cannot freely access postgraduate education. Biomedical scientists are in short supply and production needs scale up.
Why the idea was necessary. Medical laboratory technologists with diploma lack the competence and qualifications required for admission to masters’ degree programmes, and are required to undertake lengthy undergraduate degrees as prerequisite. A postgraduate diploma programme that will form a link between the diploma and masters degree is therefore proposed.
What was done: To develop a curriculum that will address this need, a nationwide needs assessment was conducted to determine stakeholders’ recognition of the need for the programme and the most appropriate modes of programme delivery. National stakeholders were identified and prioritised and a questionnaire was developed and piloted. The questionnaires were distributed to the stakeholders in Makerere University, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, and Kampala International University. Data were analysed using qualitative and quantitative methods.
Results and Impact: A response rate of 83 % was recorded, 96 % agreed that the programme was needed, and 93 % wanted it implemented immediately. Reasons given for this need included scaling up manpower, production of better qualified scientists, more opportunities for medical laboratory sciences, technological development, and improving healthcare services. The study demonstrated the need for further training of medical laboratory technologists in Uganda. This will address the manpower shortages in biomedical sciences and empower the technologists to become biomedical scientists.
Christian Chinyere Ezeala, Fiji School of Medicine, Fiji National University
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Date published: 2011-12-02
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